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Ukraine is the largest country located within Europe, known as a breadbasket of the continent, its beautiful nature, distinct folk dancing, and the hospitality of those inhabiting it.
Women comprise fifty-four percent of the country’s population, and the level of women’s literacy in Ukraine reaches nearly a hundred percent. The prohibition of discrimination based on gender is entrenched into the Ukrainian Constitution, Article 24. The country’s everyday life, however, does not reflect these factors.
The survey of 2014 showed that 22% of Ukrainian women had experienced at least one form of violence (physical or sexual) starting age 15. Only 32% of the total number asked for help at social services.
This report opens up a conversation about the systemic issue of gender violence that Ukrainian women face on a daily basis through the interviews with “La Strada” Ukraine and the community LGBTQ organization “Insight.” “La Strada” is an international NGO that works to ensure gender equality and fights women trafficking in Ukraine, and the “Insight” organization provides legal and social help to the victims of violence on the grounds of homophobia, transphobia, and xenophobia. My name is Kateryna Gordiychuk of the CKUT Community Radio in Montreal, Canada.
It is very important to talk openly about violence against women in Ukraine, as the conversation is often suppressed by virtue of seeming not urgent enough, especially in light of political difficulties and oppression by Russia that the country faces.
This documentary was produced as a part of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, an international radio series of AMARC, originally in Ukrainian. The report was aired in English on CKUT 90.3 FM on March 3, 2016, as a part of the Off the Hour program.
The International Women’s Day Conference was held March 5, 2016 at Concordia University, and marked the 41st annual celebration of Women’s day and the march held on March 8th. International Women’s Day was only officially recognized by the U.N. in 1975. The conference was put together by Women of Diverse Origins, a grassroots anti-imperialist women’s network that organizes public events to educate, discuss and empower!
Presentation playlist order:
1. Jenny-Laure Sully, who fights against the deportation of Haitians.
2. Lorraine Guay, representative for theBoycott, Divestment, Sanctions against Israeli Apartheid movement.
3. Lucina Gordon and Jeannie Calvin, two Inuit students from Nunavik (with throat-singing featured near the end).
4. Marie Boti, from the International Women’s Alliance.
5. Marta Lucia Gomez, member of the Committee for Men’s rights in Latin America / Comité des droits de l’homme de l’Amérique latine.
6. Mélanie Sarazin, president of la Fédération des femmes du Québec.
7. Final statement and reflection of the International Women’s Day conference.
This event was recorded by Claudia Edwards.